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Hedges returns to SD after stunted rehab stint

But catcher cleared Wednesday after dealing with sore elbow
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- A week ago, the Padres would've been overjoyed to see catcher Austin Hedges back in San Diego. Under these circumstances, not so much.

Hedges had his rehab assignment halted last week as he attempts to recover from right elbow tendinitis. He felt soreness in his throwing elbow and was shut down from throwing for five days.

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SAN DIEGO -- A week ago, the Padres would've been overjoyed to see catcher Austin Hedges back in San Diego. Under these circumstances, not so much.

Hedges had his rehab assignment halted last week as he attempts to recover from right elbow tendinitis. He felt soreness in his throwing elbow and was shut down from throwing for five days.

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Still, the club got a bit of positive news on Wednesday when Hedges was cleared to throw and resume further baseball activity.

"We don't expect -- structurally -- any problems," manager Andy Green said. "It just hasn't resolved entirely, whatever he's feeling."

Hedges has not yet resumed hitting, though he's expected to take that next step at some point this weekend. There's not yet a timetable for his return to a rehab stint.

The 25-year-old backstop has been sidelined since May 1. He was off to a slow start to the season, hitting .173/.235/.293 in 24 games.

Lucchesi bound for a Minors start?
Joey Lucchesi remains in Arizona as he continues his rehab from a right hip strain. The Padres are hopeful he'll be back on a mound in a game setting next week.

Which mound, exactly? That remains unclear. Initially, the Padres had hoped he could return directly into their rotation. But after missing three weeks, Lucchesi could be slated for a rehab start instead.

Video: COL@SD: Lucchesi fans Desmond in the 2nd

"It's getting to the point in time where you start talking about, 'He's got to throw three or four innings somewhere,' before he's back here in the rotation," Green said.

Friday starter undecided
The Padres have yet to fill Lucchesi's place in the rotation. Without him, they've used an off-day and a bullpen game to get around his turn. They haven't yet announced a starter for Friday's series opener against Cincinnati, but Wednesday's proceedings may have offered a hint.

Right-hander Walker Lockett was scheduled to start for Triple-A El Paso, but Seth Simmons was promoted from Double-A San Antonio and made the start in his place. Lockett, who owns a 5.31 ERA for El Paso this season, is already on the Padres' 40-man roster.

"I don't think we're too terribly far off from announcing it," Green said. "We want to make sure everybody knows. We don't want to tell the world, when the player doesn't know yet."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Austin Hedges